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2016 Burns’ Night Dinner Celebration
January 29, 2016 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Professor Wilson is an old friend of our Society; after heading up the Celtic Studies Program at St. Michael’s College he recently took up a position as Professor of History at University of Toronto, with a focus on modern Irish history. David is a most engaging and entertaining speaker and we look forward to hearing his perspective on Robert Burns.
We are fortunate in being able to engage Christopher Tait to provide our entertainment. Christopher is acknowledged to be Scotland’s leading Robert Burns reenactor; he has performed for audiences worldwide and in 2009, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, he was chosen by Visit Scotland to become the face of the Homecoming Scotland celebrations. In period costume, Christopher bears an uncanny resemblance to the Burns we know from portraits, so be prepared to be carried back in your imagination to the late 1700s as we hear many of the poet’s beloved works and of his life and times.
The flyer and application form is now available online and by mail to members by late November.
A word to the wise – last year’s event was a “sell out” with the result that several of our members were unable to be accommodated, so don’t delay in making your application for tickets!
Need to rent your Highland garb? Check out the Burns Supper Special from William Glen & Son!
Our Burns Dinner is held in the elegant University Club of Toronto. After being piped in to a reception where society members, Club members and guests mingle, the meal starts with a Burns grace. A first course is served, then everyone stands for the piping in of in the haggis. The piper leads the haggis-bearing party, to where, with great drama, Burns’ poem To A Haggis is recited. Everyone joins in on the last line, “Gie her a haggis!” and toasts the haggis with a glass of whisky before tucking into a delicious meal.
There are three traditional speeches at any Burns Dinner:
- Immortal Memory: An invited guest gives a speech on Robbie Burns, celebrating Burns in ways light-hearted, literary or through his songs;
- The Toast To The Lasses: This is usually an amusing speech addressed to the women in the audience and to acknowledge Burns’ love of women in general and many women in particular;
- Response: This is women’s turn to make fun of men’s foibles, without being insulting!
Speeches over, the evening continues, usually with Burns songs, and ends with everyone standing, joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.